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Empty Arms Fosters Community Among Those Who Have Lost a Baby

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Posted: May 15, 2023| Categories: Uncategorized

As seen in Seven Days

This article offers insight into the statewide perinatal grief/loss program called Empty Arms.  The Parent Child Center of NCSS partners closely with them and are featured in the article.  Including quotes from Amy Johnson.  

Empty Arms Fosters Community Among Those Who Have Lost a Baby

Excerpts from article:

In 2014, Chelsea Levis unexpectedly lost her first child, Timothy, during childbirth in Massachusetts. Stunned, grief-stricken and at a loss for where to seek support, she was referred by her obstetrician to a Massachusetts-based nonprofit called Empty Arms Bereavement Support. There, she was able to ask questions and find answers that helped her feel less alone.

While peer support is not meant to replace more traditional therapy, Levis said, it can be an effective complement.

“You need people who’ve been through it,” she said, “and then you need somebody to talk with one-on-one about your own goals and objectives and feelings.”

Amy Johnson, director of the Parent Child Center of Northwestern Counseling & Support Services in St. Albans, agrees. Her center employs clinicians who visit families at home to help them work through a miscarriage or infant death. It also provides teddy bears calibrated to the weight of the baby a family has lost as a way to offer comfort.

The center had tried to run its own bereavement support groups before the pandemic, but they weren’t very well attended. When Johnson learned about Empty Arms, she saw a partnership as a way to address “a huge gap in the system of care.” Now, the Parent Child Center refers clients to Empty Arms and provides stipends for the organization’s group leaders.

“I’m so happy that families have this really wonderful, thoughtful organization that is there for them,” Johnson said.

Link to entire article:


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